Local HBA & Habitat Partner to Build Green

At a time when the economy is suffering, members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield are stepping up more than ever to help Habitat Springfield eliminate poverty housing. The HBA of Greater Springfield officially announced this week that it has reached an agreement to build two certified green homes for Habitat for Humanity of Springfield to kick off its new “Builders Circle” development.

Builder Scott Kisling

The dual-home construction project will be spearheaded by 2007 HBA Builder Member of the Year Scott Kisling. Kisling has led other charitable activities of the Home Builders Association, including serving as president of the HBA Charitable Foundation, leading the HBA’s first St. Jude Dream Home project and more. Kisling holds a professional designation as a Certified Green Professional and in 2010 built completed and certified the area’s first Certified Green Home (certified to the National Green Building Standard).

Kisling will lead a team of HBA builders, remodelors, suppliers and subcontractors in building two certified green homes simultaneously. The project will demonstrate the National Green Building Standard‘s flexibility by showing more than one affordable path to green certification.

In 2007 the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) partnered to establish a much-needed and nationally-recognizable standard definition of green building.

The resulting ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ is the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Standard defines green building for single- and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects, and site development projects while still allowing for the flexibility required for regionally-appropriate best green practices.

For residential buildings, four threshold levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald – allow builders to quantify and qualify green building at all levels. At the Emerald level, the highest rating for a residential green building, a building must incorporate energy savings of 60% or more.

To comply with the Standard, a builder or remodeler must incorporate a minimum number of features in the following areas: lot and site development; energy, water, and resource efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and home owner education. In order to attain a higher level of green certification by the NAHB Research Center, a home must accrue successively higher levels of minimum points in every category – the highest level of certification is dictated by the lowest category score level.

Many of the building professionals working on the Builders Circle project (including Kisling) have earned the Certified Green Professional™ (CGP) designation, which recognizes builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who incorporate green building principles into homes— without driving up the cost of construction. Classwork leading to the designation provides a solid background in green building methods, as well as the tools to reach consumers, from the organization leading the charge to provide market-driven green building solutions to the home building industry.

Builder’s Circle is the new community partnership program with members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield and other construction-related businesses to foster affordable green building practices and support Habitat’s home construction efforts.

In March 2011, volunteer HBA members will donate materials and professional services to build the first two (eventually six) houses in a small cul-de-sac in northwest Springfield. Habitat has named the cul-de-sac “Builders’ Circle,” which is also the name of the new, on-going community partnership with local home building professionals that will double the impact of Habitat’s mission in the community.

With donated building products and volunteer labor and services, HFHS and its partners can build twice as many homes. And by applying affordable green building methods, homeowners’ utility savings can be twice that of standard building practices.

Keep watching SpringfieldHBA.com for more updates on this ongoing project, including regular updates and volunteer opportunities for HBA members. Kisling will provide regular updates on the progress of the project and announce opportunities to help on a new HBA-Habitat Builders Circle Project Blog, coming soon to SpringfieldHBA.com.